Menendez, Norcross, Camden Mayor Moran Break Ground on Major Federal Infrastructure Improvement Project

Menendez, Norcross, Camden Mayor Moran Break Ground on Major Federal Infrastructure Improvement Project

City awarded $16.2M federal grant to improve Camden’s infrastructure, spur economic growth


CAMDEN, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today joined Congressman Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Mayor Frank Moran, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and other state and local officials to break ground on construction for the Camden Connections to the Future Project, carrying out critical improvements to the City of Camden's aging infrastructure and dilapidated roadways.  

“I was proud to fight for this project in Washington and am so glad to be here with Mayor Moran and others as the hard work of building Camden Connections to the Future gets underway,” said Sen. Menendez.  “We’re talking about designing streetscapes that are walkable, ridable, and drivable for all.  That’s what Connections to the Future is all about, and as we enhance safety for Camden’s residents, we take pride in knowing this project will also contribute to the city’s continued economic renaissance.  Safety is good for business.  It spurs greater investment and allows local businesses to attract more customers.  And I’m confident Connections to the Future will contribute to all of the efforts underway to make Camden a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.” 

In July 2016, Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker and Rep. Norcross announced the awarding of a $16.2 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to launch the Camden Connections for the Future Project to upgrade Camden’s aging infrastructure, spur economic development and enhance the quality of life for residents.  That September, the lawmakers visited the Camden neighborhood in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge to tour the site slated for major redevelopment will local officials.

“Camden’s ongoing revitalization requires a reliable infrastructure network to serve as the foundation for the city today and beyond,” said Rep. Norcross.  “The federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will increase pedestrian safety while reducing traffic congestion. The Camden Connections to the Future Project does just that—it is accelerating our infrastructure into the 20th century.  I’m proud to have supported this federal grant, and as the project unfolds we can look forward to the benefits and opportunities it will bring for the city’s residents, employers, and education providers.”

The federally funded construction is taking place along Cooper Street and various roadways in the Downtown and North Camden areas of the city targeting a network of streets covering approximately two miles.  The Cooper’s Poynt Road Resurfacing and Cooper Street Pedestrian Access Projects will improve pedestrian and vehicular safety, reduce traffic congestion and enhance residents’ quality of life, while leveraging nearly $3 billion in economic development. 

“The projects will result in an elevated quality of life for Camden residents and safer conditions for users of all forms of transportation,” said Mayor Moran.  “This grant will immediately help us address infrastructure challenges and will help support the long term economic investment taking place throughout our City.  I am grateful to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and Congressman Norcross for their advocacy for this critical funding.  Camden remains committed to working in partnership with all levels of government to leverage resources in order to lay a foundation for a first-class city.”

In May 2016, Sens. Menendez and Booker wrote the Secretary of Transportation in support of Camden’s TIGER application.  The City of Camden has been designated a federal Promise Zone and, last year, received a $1 billion federal investment in its waterfront.

“This project is the direct result of residents coming together to develop a vision for the future of their neighborhoods,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.  “From the North Camden Neighborhood Plan, over ten years ago, to the Cooper Grant/Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan in 2015, residents envisioned walkable, vibrant communities.  You are now seeing the results of their vision and strong partnerships, with new parks, schools and now infrastructure that will dramatically increase the quality of life for Camden residents, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

USDOT has since renamed the TIGER grant program the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant program.  The competitive grant program has provided a combined $7.1 billion to 554 projects in all 50 states to fund road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.